An Israeli woman said it’s a miracle that her husband, Roi Harel, was able to save her and their five children by pushing two Palestinian 17-year-olds wielding sticks and a knife out of their home after the teenagers shoved their way inside and attacked him.
“A big miracle happened this morning,” Harel’s wife Shira told Israel’s Arutz Sheva after the Palestinians entered their home in the West Bank community of Eli early Wednesday morning.
“He opened the door, and two Arab terrorists jumped on him and with a lot of courage he struggled with them and pushed them out of the house,” she recalled.
“He screamed, ‘Shira, call security right now. It’s real. Call security. Go into the room, don’t go out.’”
Shira said that her husband -- whom she described as having a large build — struggled with the men in the hallway outside the children’s bedroom.
After he pushed the assailants out, Roi and his wife realized that he had been stabbed several times in the upper body.
Outside, the two attackers were shot and killed by security forces, the Israel Defense Forces said.
An IDF statement quoted by the Times of Israel read: “Upon the significant threat to the people of the community, forces shot the attackers, resulting in their death.”
Harel later told Israel’s Army Radio that the assailants had been wearing black.
“If anyone has any doubts as to their intentions, two 17-year-olds came to slaughter me, my wife and my kids,” Harel told Ynet. “In the seconds during which I fought with them, I thought to myself that what happened to the Fogel and Gavish families.”
He was referring to the 2002 intrusion into the Gavish home by a Palestinian who shot and killed four family members and to the 2011 attack on the Fogel family, five of whom were stabbed to death in their home, including a 3-month-old baby.
Palestinian media identified the youths who tried to enter Harel’s home as Labib Azzam and Mohammed Zaghlwan, both 17-year-old high school students from a nearby Palestinian village.
“Thank God a big miracle happened here,” Harel’s wife said.
“He stopped the terrorists before they got him, and they didn’t use their knives, and they didn’t get to the kids, and I can’t even think what would have happened if he wasn’t here," she said. "Roi, thank God, is a very big guy and very strong and a big hero."